Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Overnight family hike

As ya’ kids grow up you hope they’ll follow in your in passion and share in the things that you love. For me, it’s a love of the outdoors, especially the bush, camping and hiking.

Over the weekend we took the kids on their first overnight hike. This was our 2nd attempt at this adventure, the first was foiled by outside influences so this time the kids (and us) were super excited. We made sure the kids felt a-part of the hike by making them carry their backpacks. However their enthusiasm to carry as much as possible was short lived cause as soon as tried to put their packs on their back, they both realised not all their toys could along.

Our destination was Nth Era, in the Royal National Park. This is a popular spot for those doing the coastal track, but for us we didn’t have a great distance to walk, probably only 2km each way from Garie beach. Arriving at the carpark late in the afternoon the kids couldn’t wait to make a start and so we were soon on our way.

The path is well defined and for the early part is flat. After leaving Little Garie the track climbs up over the headland before dropping down into North Era. Once there we found a nice spot and setup our tent. The kids were eager to help and quickly had their sleeping bags and mats ready.

As the sun set behind the hills our afternoon culminated with a lovely stroll along the beach, watching the nearby fishermen and exploring the numerous rock pools. Once back at our campsite we feasted on an improvised hiking dinner and dessert. As the darkness took hold the kids were excited to watch the stars appear and play with their torches and cylume sticks.

Our night wasn’t without incident. A shower of rain blew across in the early hours of the morning and while it didn’t last too long, the droplets on the tent sounded much worse than it really was. This woke the kids and subsequently every 2 hours afterwards asking whether it was time to get up.

As morning dawned, the rain had gone but a cool chill hung in the valley, but this soon gave way to a beautiful morning. Hungry mouths and coffee were soon on the menu. We lazed around enjoying the laziness of the moment, other campers were hurrying to pack and continue their trek. For us, we eventually packed our things and surprisingly the kids were once again keen to put their packs on and start hiking again.

Our 45min return journey seemed to go much easier and with some regret we were soon back at the car. After ditching the packs we enjoyed an ice cream at the nearby kiosk. It was at this point that we were delighted to see a seal frolicking in the shore waves, this amazed the kids and was a great way to finish our first overnight hike with the kids.

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